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From Fanfiction to Noveling

Updated on September 8, 2011

"There's a time and place for everything, and I believe it’s called 'fan fiction'."
Joss Whedon

Why do we write fanfiction?

A wise convention goer once said, "We write fanfiction because we want to become part of the world we love."

Even coming from a man with pink hair, wearing a trench coat and carrying a giant pink scythe, what he said rang the truth and stuck with me forever. Every time I write a fanfiction, I recall that wise man's words.

So what exactly is fanfiction? Why do people write it?

Fanfiction is exactly how it sounds. It is fiction written by fans of any sort of fandom. Whether it be from novels, tv shows, comics, or even movies - if someone likes it, chances are there is fanfiction based around it.

People create fanfictions to tell a story using pre-existing characters and settings. Think of it as an alternate plot line from the real, original story. Many fanfictions revolve around creating couples that would not normally get together, even gay and lesbian couples (called yaoi/shonen ai and yuri/shojoai in anime fanfiction, and slash and femslash in other fanfictions). Sometimes fans will create their own characters and insert them into a story, though this tends to be frowned upon in the fanfiction community).

All in all, we write fanfiction because we love the world and characters of our fandom. Even when the series comes to an end, we still write fanfiction. It's almost as if we are willing the story continue.

What does writing a fanfic have to do with writing a novel?

Well, you certainly can't get better writing fiction if you don't practice. More and more budding novelists are using fanfiction as a way to develop and practice their writing styles. It doesn't seem very creative to use someone else's characters, who already have background stories and glowing personalities to write a story. However it does make it easier to tell the story without having to explain why the characters do what they do - that in turn makes it easier to focus on writing style.

Another bonus to fanfic writing as practice is readership. Hundreds upon thousands of readers read fanfictions everyday. If you are looking for feed back on how well you write, posting a fanfiction or two on fanfic websites are the perfect way to find out.

By the time you are ready to create a novel, you should be comfortable enough to write it with much more ease.

Do's and Dont's of fanficting


- Write about a fandom you enjoy. If you attempt to write a fanfic about a show you don't enjoy, don't even bother. It will show in your story that you have no interest.
- Be creative. Just because the characters aren't of your creation doesn't mean that you can't have fun with them~
- ALWAYS write a disclaimer. (Example: DISCLAIMER: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh!) It's a really simple action that will save you a lot of troubles in the end. However, if you do add your own characters, don't be afraid to claim them, but disclaim the rest of it. [Example: DISCLAIMER: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! but I have full rights to Mika Tanaka as my original character.]
- Do your best to keep the characters you are using in character. People love it when you do.


- Don't get upset if you add your own character to the mix and don't get a lot of readers. It's a strange phenomenon among the fanfic community that original characters are the plague of any fandom. I can't explain it, but don't let it discourage you.
- Don't try to claim characters that do not belong to you as your own.
- Don't publish a fanfiction and try to get money off of it. It could very well get you sued if you are discovered. (Therefore, publishing fanfiction on HubPages is a bad idea).


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    • iviskei profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyou Capps 

      9 years ago from In your computer, stealing your internet.

      Haha, thanks! And thanks for reading!

    • Tigercub684 profile image


      9 years ago from Adelaide, Australia

      Informative and well written. A great beginners guide to the concept of fanfiction :)

    • iviskei profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyou Capps 

      9 years ago from In your computer, stealing your internet.

      Haha! Glad to hear! Thanks for reading~

    • radavis profile image


      9 years ago from New Oxford, Pennsylvania

      Very interesting hub. I learned something new today thanks to you :)

    • Bubblegum Senpai profile image

      Nigel Kirk 

      9 years ago from Calgary, AB, CAN

      Yeah. I think even before then it was a gaming phrase "I'm in your base, killing your d00ds." It then went off from there. Anyways, great hub!

    • iviskei profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyou Capps 

      9 years ago from In your computer, stealing your internet.

      Cosplayers are fantastic~ I've never had the guts to do one though.

      I think my location was based off an lolcat meme, but I can't remember exactly. xD I'm writing a hub on the Fukkireta meme. I'll go read your hub~

      Thanks for reading~

    • Bubblegum Senpai profile image

      Nigel Kirk 

      9 years ago from Calgary, AB, CAN

      I'm more of a cosplayer (acting out with friends our favorite characters) than a fanfic guy, but when I was younger, I used to write TONS of Mortal Kombat fanfics. I never really thought about how it would affect my writing style. People do read me on HP so I guess it couldn't have hurt ;)

      BTW, I just finished a hub on memes and dare I ask... is your location based on a certain meme?

    • iviskei profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyou Capps 

      9 years ago from In your computer, stealing your internet.

      That's very true! It's one of the many challenges of fanfic writing~ Thanks for reading!

    • Jagodka profile image


      9 years ago

      Also, writing fanfiction will help in your ability to express voice and style of the characters since you're not using one you created. Good artciel!


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